LoveForward, Expanding Our Capacity to Love
As we continue on this journey together of LoveForward, exploring the seven ways of living in Divine love that I describe in my new book, I welcome you to the third installment on “The Way of Expansiveness.”
I’d like to share an excerpt on Expansiveness from The Divine Heart:
When we commit to opening our heart and expanding its capacity, love is there. Love is infinite. We are always discovering love—in all our relationships. We are called to trust our heart’s capacity.
During the years my parents were retired and living in Palm Springs, California, I visited them often, and on many occasions my father and I would make pizza together. With precision, like the surgeon he once was, he would carefully measure the flour, olive oil, yeast, and water. I would mix the dough with my hands, place the wet ball in a ceramic bowl, and cover it with a dish towel. My father would set the timer for thirty minutes. Then, we’d sit next to each other at the long kitchen table talking while we waited, the timer going tick-tick-tick. I loved having this time with him, cooking and talking.
I’d wanted to be alone with my father my whole life but having nine brothers and sisters and his preoccupation with his career, it never happened. This time filled a deep hunger in me, and in him. Together in the kitchen, I could hear the low tone of his voice, smell his warm skin, and notice his watery brown eyes concentrating on the meticulous making of pizza.
My father and I opened up more and more to each other during those years. We would talk about marriage, work, and the journey of faith. He was now soft and gentle, and I could easily open up to him. He told me that marriage was like two people rowing a boat together, depending on each other. He shared his struggles with the politics in hospitals, always feeling like an outsider. He also shared his intimate experience of Jesus as a portal to the depth of his heart. In the slow afternoon of the desert heat, making pizza and talking, my father and I became closer and grew in love together.
Having this time with him helped heal childhood wounds. It didn’t remove them; rather, I grew in the capacity to love and to hold both sorrow and joy. My father and I willingly stepped inside of love, opened to love’s presence, and allowed the expansion of our hearts to bring us into a more intimate relationship.
It is the same with God. As we open up to the Divine, giving ourselves more fully, we notice what holds us back, what keeps our hearts hidden. Then with God’s gentle hand, we learn to come closer to love. We’re called to live in a larger frame, expanding our sense of who we are, who God is, and what life is.
Breathing Prayer Practice for Expansiveness:
- I invite you to pause. Take a few conscious breaths. Feel the air as it flows through your body with each inhale and exhale. Feel your feet on the ground, yourself rooted to the earth. Feel the crown of your head lifting to the sky, yourself a part of the atmosphere. Repeat the mantra: The Divine is in me, I am in the Divine. God is in me, I am in God. Feel the expansiveness of that connection and unity.
I will continue to put additional reflections and practices on my blog, so please take a look. Let’s continue to LoveForward together and live in hope. Allow yourself to enter into the fullness of Expansiveness this week—body, mind, and spirit, until my next installment when we will explore the quality of Acceptance.
Together with you in the circle of love and delight,